Vital support for museums and galleries

New fund to launch.

A new funding stream for the independent museums sector to help bolster resilience following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been announced by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

The £4 million Museums Resilience and Recovery Fund will provide support for Scotland’s museums and galleries and will be administered by Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS).

The fund will aid the return of staff from furlough and the wider reopening of museums and galleries.  

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“Museums are the places where we hold memories of our people. They play a big role in delivering social impacts in education, health and wellbeing and also generate a considerable amount for the economy, with £1.04 billion directly attributable to heritage, tourism, rural employment and apprenticeships.

“Sadly, many of these wonderful institutions are now at a critical juncture in making decisions about whether they can afford to reopen, looking at possible redundancies, cancelling events and putting off critical repairs. I am pleased to announce this much needed support for the sector to help them get through the rest of the financial year.

“We all need to come together to support our local museums and galleries. As part of the campaign to encourage Scots to staycation this summer, I would encourage everyone to consider visiting their local museums, galleries and heritage attractions, if they are open. Scotland’s communities are relying on our continued support.”

Lucy Casot, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland said:

“We warmly welcome this funding from the Scottish Government. The burden of uncertainty has been one of the hardest hitting consequences of this pandemic – affecting us all.

“This financial support will enable us to alleviate the intense pressures felt by our independent museums and heralds a precious opportunity for the passionate and skilled people working in this sector to plan, to collaborate and to deliver vital services with and within communities. Museums and galleries are a vital part of the fabric of our towns, cities and communities the length and breadth of this country and we welcome the Scottish Government’s recognition of their important role through this support.”


Museums and galleries have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects of lock down and the inability to generate income means many have depleted reserves and the end of the furlough scheme could result in a majority running out of funds before the end of March 2021.

The new Museums Resilience and Recovery Fund will launch shortly. MGS will target support to museums in communities where closure would have a heightened impact because of a lack of alternative cultural attractions nearby.

The funding comes as a result of the £97 million in UK Government consequentials.

The Scottish Government has previously provided £483,000 in additional funding to help support museums and galleries critically affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. As part of this, the Urgent Response Fund set up by MGS made £700,000 available for immediate support to museums and galleries.

Guidance for Museums, Galleries and Heritage attractions

Museums Galleries Scotland is the National Development Body for Scotland’s museums and galleries. For further information visit


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